The News Tribune did an interesting story on an avid pinball collector named James Edes. He has been playing pinball since he was a little kid, and now he collects them. In his basement in Milton, Washington, he has over 70 pinball machines ranging from the mechanical games from the 1930’s to Stern’s modern pinball tables of today.
When asked what his top 5 favorite machines were, his #1 pick was no contest in his opinion, but the other four he listed in no particular order:
His all-time favorite is at the top; the other four are in no particular order.
Lord of the Rings: This 2003 machine from Stern features a digital dot-matrix display screen that shows cartoony scenes as players progress through the “plot” of the game. The game board is alive with activity and features several moving parts including a large fiery “Balrog” creature. Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring unfolds as players score big points. Edes has experienced most of the famous scenes from the book and movie series, but he has yet to unlock one final wizard mode.
Spectrum: Made in 1982 by Bally, this is an odd machine in that it has no “plunger” mechanism and automatically launches balls. Also, it plays a lot like the old “Mastermind” table game. Players have to hit targets to make guesses about a secret sequence of colors in the game’s memory.
Eight Ball Deluxe: Another Bally machine, this game, made in 1981, is unforgiving. Unlike other machines that will refund your ball if you lose it in the first few seconds of playing, Eight Ball Deluxe has no “ball saves.” And you’ll need to work the angles to win, as you do in billiards.
Centaur II: Bally also released this game in 1981. It’s one of a few machines that offers a five-ball multiball phase
Sea Witch: Released by Stern in 1980, this machine has good “flow,” Edes said, and it offers a many of those “drop targets,” or targets that fall down when hit by a ball.
His collection is a virtual treasure trove for pinball enthusiasts, and those who want to experience his treasures can play some of them at the Northwest Pinball Show from June 6th to 8th at the Seattle Center.